14th June 2017 swarm_admin

If you haven’t optimised your website copy for mobile, you should… now

Mobile has overtaken desktop as the primary device used to access websites. Have you optimised your website copy for mobile? Here’s how.

Did you know that in 2016 mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites?

In fact, the chances are you are probably reading this article from your smartphone or tablet.

Google was quick to recognise this growing trend. In 2015 it released a global algorithm update. Today mobile responsive sites rank higher than non-responsive sites, on searches carried out on mobile devices.

Upon its rollout, this global algorithm became quickly referred to as ‘Mobilegeddon’.

Of course, website programmers were quick to respond to Mobilegeddon. You now expect to see responsive sites that adapt to differences in screen size.

But there is more to websites than responsive design.

The bottom line is this. Having a ‘mobile’ responsive website is one of the ways you can optimise for mobile. But if you want your readers to engage with your responsive website, you also need to optimise your website content for mobile.

So my question to you is, when was the last time you read your website copy on your mobile? When writing your website copy, did you think about your mobile readers?

I didn’t think so.

You know what it feels like when you come across websites not designed or written for mobile:

  • They’re time-consuming
  • They’re frustrating
  • As a result, you quickly leave.

In fact, people are five times more likely to leave your website if it is not optimised for mobile than if it is.

At this point, I guess you realise that mobile has changed the way we read content.

So what does optimising your content for mobile mean?

I’m going to walk you through the key steps:

1. Remember mobile users are… well mobile

Yes, I know this is obvious. But it is surprising how many people forget this important point.

If your visitors are on the move, they’ll want to access the information they need quickly. Your content needs to be readable, engaging and clickable.

So cut the waffle from your pages. Get to the point quickly.

2. Write short headlines

All the marketing gurus tell us that 5 times as many people read your headline as do your marketing copy. Your headlines are probably the most important copy you write.

Grab attention by describing your most highly desirable benefit. Then try to shorten it. Try to keep headlines under 55 characters in length.

Not enough room to squeeze what you want into a headline? Elaborate on your point with a sub-headline.

3. Keep content simple and sentences and paragraphs short

If your audience is on the move, its attention span will be in short supply.

Remember, a four-line paragraph will appear as seven or eight line paragraph on mobile. So keep paragraphs as concise as possible.

Getting your message across on a mobile device means keeping the message simple. Avoid jargon and use Plain English wherever possible.

Keep readers moving through your pages by using sub-headlines to guide them through your copy.

4. Front–load your most important information

Put your most important information into your first two paragraphs:

  • Who does the information benefit?
  • What is the topic?
  • Why is this information important to the readers?
  • Follow up with supporting information.

Answer the questions where, when and how.

5. Use bullet points

When screen space is in short supply, bullet points help readers scan and quickly digest text.

They also guide readers to reading the most important points you want to get across.

As far as possible, group bullets into threes. Copywriters regularly use the rule of three. It helps readers to form patterns and aids recall.

6. Make sure you write strong calls to action

Keep calls to action text down to four words. Make your readers feel confident and comfortable they are making the right decision:

  • Show readers there is no risk in taking action
  • Focus on the benefits
  • Encourage readers to respond straight away

I love this Dropbox call to action:

“Get all your files from anywhere, on any device, and share them with everyone.
Sign up for free.”

And finally short form versus long form content

Writing for mobile doesn’t mean you should write shorter articles. It does mean your writing needs to be as tight as it can be.

  • Make sure your copy is easy to read and understand
  • Keep paragraphs to a maximum of 3 lines
  • Highlight the key points you want to get across
  • Provide bite-size takeaways from each article
  • Include actionable advice or directions
  • It sounds simple, and it is.

To sum up. With more and more users accessing content on mobile devices, the need for mobile optimisation has become vital.

Mobile has changed the way we read content.

So what are you waiting for?

And finally

If you would like help writing website copy that is optimised for mobile, then do get in touch. You’ll be surprised at how straightforward writing can grab your mobile audience’s attention.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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